South West London boroughs snubbed national favourites Oliver and Olivia in favour of a range of top baby names in 2020, according to data released last week.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published England and Wales’ choices for baby first names, including the most popular name by area, according to the mother’s usual place of residence.
Sutton and Wandsworth are the only two boroughs whose most popular name aligned with the nation’s for both boys’ and girls’ names, with Westminster also picking Olivia, and other areas opting for different high-ranking names.
Siân Bradford, of the ONS’ Vital Statistics Outputs Branch, said: “Oliver and Olivia held onto the top spots as the most popular boys’ and girls’ names in 2020 but some interesting changes took place beneath them.
“Popular culture continues to provide inspiration for baby names, whether it’s characters in our favourite show or trending celebrities.”
In Richmond, the top boys’ name was the enduringly popular royal choice of George, also number two nationally.
Another trendy name is national number four Noah, popular among young mothers, which rose over 200 places to reach the national top five in 2017.
Noah was Westminster’s most popular boys’ name and tied first with national sixth place Leo in Hammersmith and Fulham.
Croydon appears to be a good indicator of overall London trends, as for both boys’ and girls’ names, the borough’s top choice aligned with the city’s: Muhammad and Amelia.
The boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Richmond both had a three-way tie at the top for girls: Charlotte, Sofia and Stella for the former, and Florence, Matilda and national number three Isla for the latter.
Charlotte and Sofia both feature in the nation’s top 25 girls’ names, but Stella only ranks as 294th nationally, with a total of 159 births in 2020; of which 10 were to Kensington and Chelsea mothers.
Kensington and Chelsea’s top boys’ name was more popular, although still not in the nation’s top ten: the traditional Alexander, 26th nationally.
Joshua was a popular option in parts of South West London despite a considerable drop in the national rankings in the past decade, appearing as both Kingston and Merton’s favourite boys’ name.